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Music Curriculum 2019-2020

Head of Department: Mrs. M. Saracino
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Music plays an integral part in the life of Gilbert Inglefield Academy.

Every child receives a music lesson once a week which involves learning to play a wide range of musical instruments such as steel pans, African drums, ukuleles, guitars, keyboards to name a few. We also learn about music from different cultures and times and pupils listen to music from some of the great classical composers.

Joining together to share music develops the whole child, and pupils sing and perform together on a regular basis. Singing assemblies in key stages and as a whole school community take place weekly where we learn a variety of songs from different religious, historical and moral perspectives as well as singing for the fun of it!

Pupils are able to extend their skills and enjoyment of music by taking part in one of the many musical clubs that are run throughout the school day and before and after school.

Pupils prepare and present musical performances throughout the year, such as a concert and Nativity production at Christmas, an Easter concert, and a summer term concert which showcases our talented solo performers.

The school recognises and embraces being part of the community and our pupils perform to the elderly in residential homes and invite guests in to listen and join in with our performances and celebrations.

Year 5

Autumn Term

Pupils learn to play the ukulele. We concentrate on learning to read the chord grid and learn strumming techniques which are tailored to their individual needs.

Pupils learn to perform a variety of different songs celebrating Harvest and Christmas. They have the opportunity to work in groups and can join the Ukulele Club which meets one a week. The Ukulele Club performs in assemblies and goes out to perform to the wider community.

Pupils also learn to sing in a call and response style learning songs from around the world. They learn part singing, and can develop their singing skills further by joining the Pop Choir which is open to all years.

Pupils begin to develop their composition skills by composing lyrics to go with a song they have learnt in lessons which they will also perform paying particular attention to pitch and style.

Pupils learn about the ballet music of Tchaikovsky as well as learning about the Romantic period of music. They develop their knowledge of the orchestra identifying instrumental families.

Pupils will particularly learn the stories and music of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

Learning musical vocabulary is an important part of the curriculum, and we will be using and learning the symbols for the elements of music.

 Spring Term

Pupils begin work on the keyboard skills unit of work. This unit allows for the complete beginner as well as developing the skills of those pupils who already play the piano/keyboard.

Pupils work on the correct technique and learn to read simple notation. They develop their knowledge of note values and as all the work is carefully tailored to their ability, progress at the appropriate rate.

Those pupils who wish to develop their skills further are able to take the music home if they possess a keyboard/piano.

We also develop our knowledge to the orchestra looking at the families and individual instruments learning about pitch and timbre (type of sound).

During the Spring term pupils have the opportunity to learn to play the Steel pans and the drum kit. We learn to perform as a group playing on our fantastic steel pan set, learning about the different types of pans and some of the history behind them.

Summer Term

During the summer we work on the music Carnival of the Animals and dynamics – volume, learning about another composer from the Romantic period.

Pupils develop their listening skills identifying musical features used by the composer.

We also begin work on learning the guitar, learning to read and play chords and developing a repertoire of songs that pupils play as a group and as a class.

Pupils will use music tech programmes during this term developing their composition skills and re enforcing their knowledge of dynamics and timbre based on previous work done on the orchestra.

Extra – curricular opportunities

  • Performing with the Pop Choir at the Singing for Fun event held with the lower schools at GIA in October.
  • Ukulele performances in and out of school.
  • Ukulele club and Pop Choir which meet weekly in school time.
  • Orchestra which meets after school once a week,
  • Pupils are able to join the steel pan band and keyboard club.
  • African drumming band.
  • Samba Band which meets after school.

 Year 6

Autumn Term

We will work on our second unit of work based on the music of the Caribbean using the steel pans.

Pupils will learn about the different types of pans and the history behind the music.

We will be learning to play the drum kit as well as learning to play a variety of steel pans, performing as an ensemble(group) listening and watching each other.

Developing knowledge of singing songs from around the world in a call and response style as well as part singing will form an important part of our work.

Pupils will continue to develop skills learnt in the previous year on the ukulele, extending their skills moving between a variety of chords and play and singing songs.

Spring Term

Pupils will work on their keyboard skills developing these from year 5.

Particular focus will be on note values, symbols and names of notes and they will practice their note drawing skills, learning about the treble, alto and bass clef as appropriate for ability.

We will work on time signatures – beats in a bar and work on the difference between the beat and rhythm.

Learning about music from the Renaissance period, paying particular attention to the types of instruments that would have been used and how these developed in to instruments used in the orchestra today. There will also be some Renaissance dancing listening carefully to the beat keeping to a tempo – speed.

Summer Term

We will be studying Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev looking at the instruments used to depict the characters and choosing instruments which pupils feel have the correct timbre – type of sound – for the characters.

Pupils learn about the story and about the composer.

Pupils will work on guitars during the term learning a variety of chords and songs and performing as individuals as well as an ensemble.

Music ICT will form part of the curriculum this term and pupils will compose music considering elements such as timbre, pitch and dynamics.

Extra-curricular opportunities

  • Pupils can perform on the steel pans during assemblies and concerts as part of the Steel Pan Band that meets once a week during school time.
  • Pop choir and ukulele clubs run once a week during school time and perform in school as well as in the wider community.
  • Orchestra meets once a week after school and pupils can develop ensemble (group) skills during these sessions as well as performing in school concerts and special assemblies.
  • Keyboard skills can be developed during break and on a Friday morning before school in the music room.
  • Pupils can join the African drumming band.
  • Samba Band which meets after school.

 Year 7

Autumn Term

During year 7 pupils learn to play the African drums. We have several different types of authentic African drums and pupils have the opportunity to play on all of these during lessons.

We learn to play ostinato (repeating) rhythms in parts and also learn to play the different notes on the drum using different parts of the drum and hand.

Looking at the origins of African drumming forms an integral part of our work and we look at the cultural significance of drumming in Africa.

We learn songs from Africa to go with drumming patterns that are performed in class.

Pupils compose their own music in response to the music heard and learnt in lesson, recording these and assessing each other’s work.

Pupils will develop their skills on the guitar learning new chords and consolidating those learnt already.

Music tech will form part of our curriculum during the term where we will compose music adding elements such as dynamics and tempo – volume and speed.


  • Musical terminology – ostinato.
  • Guitar skills for those who have their own guitars, other pupils can come to the music room to develop their skills during break times.

Spring Term

Traditional notation work with regard to time signatures and note values are extended. Pupils draw out the note values and clefs accurately putting the rhythms on to a stave.

Pupils listen to raps and learn to sing a variety of different raps learning about the genre.

Composing their own rap in a group leading to a performance to a backing beat will be recorded and then assessed by the pupils and teacher.

Year 7 pupils will be looking at music around the world and will focus on Pentatonic music.

Pupils will learn about instruments from different countries with particular emphasis on China and traditional music from this area.

Listening and appraising music will form a major part of this part of the curriculum with pupils making decisions about which instruments they can hear and where the music could be from.

Pupils will compose their own pentatonic – 5 note scale – music in response to music heard in lessons.

Pupils will develop their skills on the steel pans and drum kit learning to perform as part of an ensemble learning a variety of songs/music.


  • Note values as symbols and names.
  • Drawing clefs and other notation skills.
  • Research on musical instruments from different countries.

Summer Term

Continuing on from our work during the Spring term, we will be learning about music from India and the instruments and styles that are used in traditional Indian music.

Pupils will perform Indian music on the keyboards adding in the correct timbre – type of sound - to imitate this genre.

Pupils will develop Indian drumming patterns and techniques and will perform as part of a group recording and improving their compositions.

Year 7 pupils will develop their skills on the ukulele performing chords and singing a variety of songs.

During this term, pupils will work on Music Technology projects.


  • Research on musical instruments from different countries and cultures.
  • For those that have their own ukuleles, they will practise at home although the music room will be open for them to practise in break times.

Extra-curricular opportunities

  • African Drumming Band is open to year 7 pupils and meets weekly in school time.
  • The drumming band performs in assemblies and the wider community.
  • Pop choir, ukulele/guitar club and steel pan also meet weekly in school time and perform at a variety of events.
  • Orchestra meets after school once a week and performs in school concerts and assemblies.

 Year 8

Autumn Term

Year 8 study music from Brazil listening to the beats and rhythms of Samba music. Pupils work on a variety of drums and percussion instruments from Brazil and perform as a Samba Band.

We work on traditional notation as well as using other notation devices thinking about dynamics (volume) and tempo (speed).

Syncopated (off beat) dance rhythms are worked through with pupils using some of the techniques they have acquired during PE lessons.

Pupils will record and analyse their performances offering feedback as to where improvements could be made using musical vocabulary.

During the term we also work on our second unit of African drumming looking at how and where the drums are made and the life and culture of the African people linking with geography.

More complex drumming patterns and explored as well as using a variety of traditional African instruments to add different types of timbre (sounds) to the music.


Pupils will practise the drumming patterns learnt in lesson as well as working on note values.

Spring Term

During this term we will be working on the steel pans and the drum kit. Pupils will learn to perform a variety of music such as Yellow Bird and the Blues as a group. Emphasis will be placed on listening to each other to perform to a high standard. Recordings will be made of the performances with pupils assessing their performances as well as identifying where improvements can be made.

Keyboard skills will be worked on consolidating all the keyboard skills work completed over the previous years. Pupils will develop their repertoire and will perform to one another during lessons.

Lessons will also use music tech programs working on melody, accompaniment and pitch. Pupils will compose music following a structure to produce a piece of music using a variety of elements.


For those pupils who have a keyboard they will be able to consolidate their learning at home. Other pupils can come into the music room during break times to work on their skills.

Summer Term

Pupils will develop their skills on the guitar reading tablature which will lead into working on the 12 bar blues. We will learn about the history of the Blues and the musicians that are exponents of the genre.

Pupils will perform the 12 bar blues on the keyboard and on the guitar.

We will be learning about Fanfares as a musical style, listening to Fanfares composed by John Williams with particular reference to his film scores.

Pupils will compose and perform Fanfares on the keyboard or their own instruments for those that play.

Performing on the ukulele as an individual and as part of a group focusing on chords, strumming techniques and extending their repertoire will be developed.

Pupils will also use their skills in groups to compose and perform their own songs.


Pupils who own a guitar will work on tablature and a variety of songs. Others are welcome to practice in the music room during break times.

Work on the history of the Blues as a style and also research on a musician.

Extra-curricular opportunities

  • Pupils are welcome to join the guitar/ukulele clubs and orchestra.
  • Steel pan band is open to all year groups
  • We have a fabulous Samba band in our school, and any Year 8 pupils that wishes to extend their skills is welcome to join. This also applies to the African drumming band
  • Pupils can attend the keyboard club that runs on a Friday morning before school.